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Pre-European Council Meeting: Statements (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: Beidh cruinniú Comhairle na hEorpa ar siúl an tseachtain seo, ar an 23 agus 24 Meitheamh agus beidh cruinniú an euro summit ann ag an am céanna. An t-ábhar is tábhachtaí ná an t-iarratas ón Úcráin chun a bheith mar bhall den Aontas Eorpach. Tá gach aon dealramh ar an scéal anois go dtarlóidh sé sin ag an...

Death of Former Member: Expressions of Sympathy (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: Is mór an onóir domsa é, mar Thaoiseach, a bheith in ann m'ómós agus ómós mo pháirtí a chur in iúl maidir le Austin Currie. Níl aon amhras ann ach gur fear agus polaiteoir den scoth a bhí ann. D’oibrigh sé go dian dícheallach, Domhnach is dálach, ar son muintir na tíre, sa Tuaisceart agus sa Deisceart...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: I think I dealt with Deputy Danny Healy-Rae's question when I responded to his colleague, Deputy O'Donoghue, earlier in terms of the Government needing revenue to spend on services and to improve all those roads in Kerry that Deputy Danny Healy-Rae has so consistently articulated for. For improvements to the roads and so on-----

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: -----one needs revenue to do that now and again. Deputy Bríd Smith raised the issue of the retired workers Bill. I will come back to her on that specifically.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: I know, but I do not have the details to hand today. Regarding the issue raised by Deputy Dillon, we can look at that. The Minister for Rural and Community, Deputy Humphreys, can look at it. Six years was originally a concession at the time. I would have been involved in introducing it under the job initiative and the community employment scheme. We can look at that. Regarding the...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: I appreciate the Deputy's interest in this issue. I will talk to the Minister and ask him to ensure a timeline is provided for the publication of this report. It should be published.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: I understand the HSE has been involved at national level in respect of governance and has sent a team to the hospital to monitor and review it.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: That has happened. We are acutely aware of the challenges and pressures on the hospital. The HIQA report identified, for example, that even though there has been a substantial increase in beds in the past number of years, it did not in itself alleviate the pressures on the emergency department. There are issues other than resources. More resources will be required for acute beds but that...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: One can understand. Covid is having an impact on health. Everyone wants to forget about it and pretend it is not happening but it is happening and having a significant impact on the operation of hospitals.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: Does the Ceann Comhairle want me to answer?

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: I will talk to the Minister regarding the specifics. I do not have the specifics of this case. I do not know why anybody would want to delay matters, if the funding and resources are there, but I will follow it up.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: As I discussed earlier, that matter is ongoing as part of the public pay talks. We are doing everything we can to try to bring them to a conclusion.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: Or maybe divine intervention. In a more serious vein, it is very distressing for the family, to be fair. Normally, passport applications for children tend to be the difficulty and not those for the mother. I will raise this with the Department. It is no fault of the Deputy's because she contacted my office yesterday at around 8.30 a.m., as she did others. It is very distressing for the...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: In the last Estimates round, and in terms of providing a substantial budget to the Department of Health, it encompassed expanded services across the board, including paediatric diabetic services and a whole range of other services. This is being realised through the recruitment of staff and additional resources at various locations across the country, including CUH. We will continue to keep...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: There are commercial decisions involved here. The Central Bank regulates the banks. The ECB has kept interest rates at an exceptionally low level for the past decade, as concerns about deflation dominated. Inflation is now the predominant concern and worry, hitting about 8.1% in May across Europe. Last week, the ECB signalled a 0.25% interest rate hike in July and said a bigger increase...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: The HSE is responsible for the delivery and operation of health services. The capacity is simply not there for any Department, including the Taoiseach's Department, to begin to run hospitals. That is simply not going to happen. It is not a runner, nor is it feasible or practical as a solution. In terms of what we can do, the Minister has met with the chair, the CEO and senior management...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: With regard to that housing estate in Kildare last year, it was not bought out by funds. The majority of those homes went on the open market while the remainder have been acquired by Kildare County Council for social and affordable housing under the terms of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000. There is an endless attempt to spin this issue, but the facts are the facts. That...

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: The planning measures that were introduced have worked in terms of protecting the individual owner. Certainly, we will keep everything under review, but there must be a little balance and perspective. The funds are not dominant in the Irish housing market. The Deputy keeps saying they are, but they absolutely are not dominant in the housing market.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: Last year, out of 20,000 houses, some 9,000 were social housing. Nearly 50% of the 20,000 houses last year were social houses.

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (21 Jun 2022)

Micheál Martin: On the pay front, discussions have taken place between the Government and the public service unions on public service pay. They have broken up for the time being, but the Government is open to re-engaging in the public service pay talks. Meanwhile, in the private sector there have been various agreements in different sectors between different companies and their employees in respect of pay....

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